Are you a small business owner who struggles to keep your books balanced? Do you feel like you’re too busy juggling all the other responsibilities of managing the day-to-day operations? If so, you’re not alone. Bookkeeping can be tedious and intimidating, but with the right tips and tricks, it doesn’t have to be a struggle. We share some of our favorite bookkeeping tips for small businesses, so read on and start getting your books in order!
1. Separate Your Personal and Business Expenses
Mixing your personal accounts and business accounts is asking for trouble. Skip any confusion and create separate bank accounts. Having a dedicated business account provides a clearer picture of your business cash flow allowing you to track expenses more easily. Solely using credit cards for all business transactions is a great way to stay on top of expenses as cash payments can easily be overlooked.
2. Pay Attention to Receivables
Every business likes to get paid but managing those payments isn’t as much fun. Marking an invoice as paid when payment is received seems easy, but all too often customer payments are left to reconcile at a later date. It’s important to keep track of your transactions as they happen. Applying customer payments weekly will save you time and money – and a big headache come tax time.
3. Pay Yourself a Salary
While paying yourself may not be the first thing that comes to mind as you’re building a business, if your business earns enough money, it should be. Paying yourself a salary is an excellent way to keep your business and personal life separate and keep your books in order. Rather than having business pay your personal expenses, have them write you a check that is deposited into an account just for those payments.
4. Log Expense Receipts
The importance of keeping business receipts cannot be overstated, as they help you keep accurate records for your taxes and lend credibility to any tax reporting. Whether it’s buying dinner for a client or paying to create a new logo for your company, all purchases should have some type of receipt with them so you can keep an accurate record of all business expenses.
5. Hire a Professional
Too many small businesses struggle with the day-to-day tasks of keeping their books, and it’s a problem that can be easily avoided. Your business requires your full attention as you grow it into something amazing—outsource these tedious jobs so you have more time to focus on what really matters, making money!
As a small business owner, you have to be mindful of your accounting and finances. These tips will help make bookkeeping less daunting and ensure that your business is on the right track financially.
There are many different options for accounting and it can be difficult to decide which is the best for you or your business. You can hire an accountant to do your books or you can use accounting software. Each has its own pros and cons, and it helps to understand them before making a decision. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of hiring an accountant vs. using accounting software. Hopefully it will help you decide which option is right for you!
Hiring An Accountant
Hiring an accountant is a good option for businesses that don’t have the time or resources to do their own accounting. An accountant can help you with everything from bookkeeping to tax preparation. They will keep your books in order and make sure you are compliant with all applicable laws. Hiring an accountant also gives you someone to rely on for advice and support. A main benefit of hiring an accountant is the time it saves. You can focus on other aspects of your business and personal life instead of working on your finances for hours on end.
However, It can also be difficult to find an experienced accountant who is knowledgeable about your specific industry. Additionally, you are limited to the services that the accountant offers. If you need help with something that the accountant does not offer, you will have to find someone else to help you.
Using Accounting Software
Using accounting software is a good option for businesses that want to do their own books but don’t have the time or resources to hire an accountant. The software gives you access to all of your financial information in one place, which makes it easier for you to keep track of what’s going on with your business and make decisions based on that information.
However, using accounting software can be very time consuming and difficult to learn. You need to be able to understand financial statements in order to use the software effectively. If you don’t have any experience with accounting, it will take some time to learn how to use the software and understand what the statements mean. Additionally, you are responsible for entering all of your financial information into the software, which can be a time-consuming process. If you find yourself struggling with the software, it is wise to consider hiring an accountant.
In conclusion, both hiring an accountant and using accounting software have their own pros and cons. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. If you use accounting software, make sure that the software is easy to learn and use before purchasing it. This will help ensure success!
If you hire an accountant, make sure that you hire someone who is knowledgeable about your industry and has experience working with businesses like yours. We pride ourselves at Motl Accounting on helping various types of businesses and individuals with their taxes. Whether you need accounting or payroll services, we can help. The most important factor when it comes to your finances is peace of mind and we offer that to our clients.
Need help with your business finances or personal taxes? Contact one of our experienced professionals at our West Dundee location to get the help you need.
Many individuals are familiar with filling out W-4 forms provided by their employers to file taxes. Business owners, self employed individuals and contractors however don’t fill out traditional W-4 forms. They are professionals who might receive income without taxes taken out right away and are therefore expected to make payments quarterly. According to the IRS, you are expected to make quarterly estimated tax payments if the following apply.
- You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the current tax year after subtracting your withholding and refundable credits.
- You expect your withholding and refundable credits to be less than the smaller of:
- 90% of the tax to be shown on your current year’s tax return, or
- 100% of the tax shown on your prior year’s tax return. (Your prior year tax return must cover all 12 months.)
Simply put, if you know you are going to owe a good amount of money, it’s beneficial to pay your estimated taxes. Here are a few reasons why.
No one likes penalties and paying your taxes each quarter prevents that. Per the IRS if you owe over $1,000 you could be penalized for underpayment of your taxes. Knowing the exact figure could be challenging and hiring an accountant could help in estimating how much your payments should be. Your accountant should have all the right numbers and processes in place to give a figure to pay that should prevent you from underpaying your taxes.
Paying your taxes quarterly let’s you avoid the potential surprise of a larger tax bill during tax season. Not paying could lead to having a large and unexpected bill at tax season. Paying your taxes quarterly can give you peace of mind knowing you aren’t likely to get an unexpected bill. This might be a task to deal with every quarter due to the nature of your business and how busy you are. If that’s the case, consider hiring an accountant who can assist you. For all you know, the cost of paying penalties could be more than what an accountant might charge to help you.
Paying your estimated taxes each quarter should give a good overview of your books and less stress in managing your accounting. This is where a bookkeeper comes in handy as they can provide insights on your accounting through the year. Tax season is less of a headache when you’ve been managing your books and making quarterly payments throughout the year.
In conclusion, the benefits to paying your estimated quarterly taxes can make life easier and provide you peace of mind. Quarterly taxes are typically due on April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15, for the current calendar year. Most accountants and bookkeepers are aware of these dates and should work with you to get your payments in on time as needed.
Want to know more about how accountants and bookkeepers can help with your taxes and grow your business? Contact one of our professionals here at Motl Accounting. We assist businesses and individuals with their accounting needs and look forward to assisting you.
For those living and working overseas in a different country, taxation is a different ball game that requires experts who are skilled in international tax planning. The rules and regulations are different and knowing what is required to be in compliance with local and international laws can be daunting. Many taxpayers do not realize most US citizens and residents abroad must report their foreign income and foreign bank accounts. Many are not also aware that you can still receive deductions you are eligible for despite not living in the US. Mainly important to know is that all income from abroad is taxable and must be reported along with certain financial accounts. With this in mind, we have gathered a few helpful tips you would want to consider when it comes to international taxation.
Understand Tax Obligations of Work Country and Home Country
Some countries don’t tax their citizens living abroad, the United States however does, so it’s important to know if you are to be paying taxes to the country you work in, in addition to the US. There are some instances where individuals living abroad can claim credit for taxes paid overseas and this can help with not being double taxed.
Understand Laws and Treaties
Knowing the treaties, pacts and trade laws between both the US and country you work in is important. A trade law, sanction or tariff imposed or removed can have effects on how the laws intersect and how international tax treaties are followed. If you are looking to mitigate double taxation, there are avenues like Tax Treaty Relief, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, Foreign Housing Benefit and Foreign Tax Credit. An experienced accountant in international taxation will be able to assist using some of these avenues.
Family and Lifestyle Dynamics
Are you married to a non citizen, did you recently purchase a home abroad or did your child just move abroad for the foreseeable future? These are all family and lifestyle dynamics that will be factored in when it comes to your taxes. For example, your child residing abroad permanently may qualify for the US foreign earned income exclusion and if you own a home abroad, you may be allowed to exclude some foreign housing costs from taxable income. However the foreign country your child lives in may impose a tax on the money you send him as a gift and the number of days you spend in your foreign home can play into how you are taxed.
Many US based families find themselves in international work or living related situations which automatically affects how they are taxed. Having international tax experts like we do at Motl Accounting in the United States can provide you the peace of mind you want when it comes to your taxes. We help United States citizens and residents earning global income and/or living abroad file their personal income taxes and properly report their foreign bank and financial accounts.
Through the IRS “streamlined compliance program”, we’ll assist you in creating a safe-haven to catch up on your delinquent income tax filing, and non-reporting of your foreign bank and financial accounts (FBARS), without the heavy penalties and fines. We apply appropriate foreign tax credits and foreign earned income exclusions, possibly mitigating any taxes owed and ensuring you are in compliance with the US law by filing all the necessary forms and returns for taxpayers earning foreign income.
If you’ve found yourself in a situation that warrants international taxation or you are looking to file your FBAR with a skilled agent, we can assist. Contact our West Dundee office in Illinois at (+1) +847-426-2100 or send us a message on our Website or Facebook Page.